Feminism, Lifestyle, People, Relationships, Spirituality, Women, Work

The First Week of the Rest of My Life

On the first day of my first job in the first month of my post-college life, I arrived early. Those of you who know me well know that this is a huge feat. I’ve never been early anywhere, ever. If we agree on meeting at 9, you can just go ahead and plan for 9:05. I blame my chronic tardiness on my personality, my genetics (hi mom), my short stature that really just makes it hard to walk quickly, okay? Geez.

So there I was at 8:45 a.m. Not only was it new for me to arrive early, it was anxiety-inducing. I didn’t know what to do with myself for the fifteen minutes I spent waiting in the ninth floor lobby for someone from Corporate to lead me into an orientation room. I felt a tap on my shoulder; another new hire had entered the room; we introduced ourselves to each other.

More college grads trickled into the room before we were whisked into “The Rocketship,” a conference room at the top of the Metroplex, 2U Inc.’s headquarters. We learned about the company’s product, mission, tactics and goals. We were officially 2Utes.

As we were guided through the building, we received laptops, ID badges, and notepads before we found our desks. I was the only new hire in my department; I spent the rest of the day meeting others on my team, learning about different departments and trying to scribble important notes I could catch.

I took the metro home, where I arrived at my basement apartment and opened the door to a bedroom full of boxes I had yet to unpack. It was only 6:30 p.m., and I was exhausted. I heated up some enchiladas from the fridge, pushed the boxes off my bed, and settled under the covers to eat my leftovers while starting Season Four of Girls.

I wish that I could say I eventually got up and unpacked, that I introduced myself to the neighbors, that I did something even marginally productive, but I did not. Not even the next night.

On the second, third and fourth nights I continued in my newfound binging until I ran out of enchiladas and finished the entire series of Girls.

I bought a month-long MetroCard hours before I found out that my stop is closed for the rest of June due to construction.

I went for a run and got lost until I gave up and walked home.

I left my ID card at home and couldn’t use the bathroom unless someone swiped me back into the office.

* * *

My inescapable failure at the simplest parts of adulthood have me feeling like I left college before I was ready. How can I be ready for adult life if I can’t figure out how to set up the wifi? If I can’t muster the energy to introduce myself to people on my street? If I can’t eat something other than leftovers?

The truth is, I don’t want an adult life. I don’t want an adult apartment. I don’t want adult friends. I miss my life, my apartment, my friends. None of this feels like it’s mine. I imagine this trifecta as forever out of reach, just like the cabinet above my stove that I’ll never open because I don’t have a stool or a roommate who can reach it for me.

This is what I wanted all along, right? All the nights during college where I felt a need for something more than partying, than all-nighters in the library, than friends who are no longer even my acquaintances. I wanted this, but I only wanted the exciting parts – the fancy bars, the museums, the political centrifuge that is Capitol Hill. I just never thought about the loneliness, the responsibility, the distance from the people I love.

Just like my last post about people who do things before they are ready, I had to pep talk myself into accepting my situation the way it is.

I could have told myself “it is what it is, it will be what I make of it.” I could have repeated the serenity prayer until I reached some sort of intangible wisdom – that’s what happens, right? I could find a yoga class, I could restart Girls, I could buy a one-way ticket home.

But none of those things are going to help; I’m smart enough to know that.

* * *

Every time I get off the phone with my dad, he signs off with “be huge.” Not “see you soon,” or “take care,” because he knows I know those things. He also knows I need a reminder to “be huge.”

If you’re wondering what that means, think about a time you’ve felt small. Whether you put others’ needs before yours, or you didn’t voice your opinion, it’s likely that you let yourself behave in a way that made you small. Physically, spiritually, emotionally, we all do it.

Being huge is about fulfilling your needs, your desires, without letting friends or fears get in your way. Being huge means saying yes, it means showing up early, it means recognizing that you, your body and your mind are worth the effort.

Unlike the other remedies to self-doubt that focus on praying or planning or perceiving, “being huge” is all about being. It’s about mindful awareness of your daily activities, making choices that are good for you, and realizing that self-indulgence isn’t bad. It’s about accepting the bad thoughts, but not focusing on them.

Being huge is realizing that my parents are right more often than I’d like to admit, so I should go ahead and accept it now.

Being huge is doing the adult things anyway. And kicking ass at it.

Yeah, I’m going to get lost, I’m going to oversleep, I’m going to forget my ID badge. I can’t be good at all of the things. I’m young. We’re all young. We’re all getting lost and oversleeping and forgetting.

But I’m also going to walk to the market on the corner North Carolina Avenue and 11th and buy an expensive wedge of cheese and a bottle of wine because I’M AN ADULT, DAMMIT.

And then I’m going to sit in the park and toast myself for surviving the first week of adulthood even though I will probably also lock myself out of my apartment at some point this month.

So cheers to us. Cheers to the hustle. Cheers to being huge.

College, Education, Lifestyle, News, People, Relationships

Class of 2016: Graduation as a State of Mind

I cannot overstate the number of times I’ve been asked if I’m ready to graduate.

On paper, it’s all there.

I have taken all the required hours, I have passed all the right classes, I have ordered my cap and gown.

Once I’ve turned in all my final projects on Tuesday, I’ll be home free until graduation.

Except I’m still not ready.

I’m not ready to stop having the mental solace of being surrounded by thousands of other twenty-somethings who are equally accepting of sleeping and crying in the library. I’m not ready to stop pretending I’m a freshman when visitors ask me for directions on Carolina’s campus. I’m not ready to stop filing as a student on my taxes.

Let’s be honest, I’m not ready to start filing my taxes regardless.

I am also not ready to let go of the identity that comes from being a student. I’ve never not been a student. What other identity do I have?

There is no way I could accurately describe the sheer terror I feel as I stare into the black hole of what appears to be my future after May 8. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.

I am smart enough to know that I cannot articulate this feeling any better than those who’ve come before me. Maybe I should make this a post of inspirational lyrics from Prince songs that could apply to graduating seniors. Maybe I should list advice from my parents and famous graduation speeches. Maybe I should share a series of anecdotes that illustrate the trials and triumphs of being a Carolina student.

I could do any of those things, but instead I’m going to quote Amy Poehler from her book Yes Please!, because I think she’s a kick-ass human with valuable ideas and incomparable delivery. And also because I have seen the entire series of Parks and Recreation so many times that I feel I know her personally and I like to think she said this to me, and only me, as a friend and life-long companion:

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.”

Carolina has become my comfort zone. Leaving feels comparable to a death sentence, though I know that’s just my genetic pre-disposal to melodrama.

There exists a very intangible kind of togetherness in this zip code, on every college campus. A sense of belonging to this campus, with one another, to one another, for one another. This accountability, this encouragement, this comfort that we find in each other comes from the webs we create through dance clubs, honor societies, campus ministries, sports teams, a cappella groups. It is the knowledge that we are all on the same team.

Over the course of the next few months, our lives will look very different than they do right now. My friends will not climb into my bed every Sunday morning to discuss “what the hell happened last night?” We won’t live in the same house. We won’t be studying for exams. We won’t get the “ALL CLEAR” from Alert Carolina at 4 a.m.

We will no longer have these little webs of people to reach into whether we need a buddy for a McDonald’s run, or we just want to feel less alone.

I’m not ready to leave that comfort quite yet, but I don’t think we have to. Graduating is not synonymous with leaving it behind.

As the late Marina Keegan said in The Opposite of Loneliness, “the best years of our lives are not behind us, they are part of us.”

Holding tightly to my college experience is not going to make me live in the past, but harnessing the steadfast love and community and celebration of youth is going to prepare me for what lies ahead.

As I look back at what the past four years have brought me in adventure, academics and altruism, I feel as though I am about to be a real-world freshman, which brings me comfort as a status I have held many times before.

Graduating from college is just like every experience that scared me in the past. I never felt ready, but I have always been thankful that I did it anyway (and I’m always glad that my parents made me do it).

Great people do things before they are ready. They do things before they know they can do it, whether it comes from faith, or confidence, or obliviousness to the risks. They beat on, boats against the current, as Fitzgerald famously said.

Graduating is not a death sentence, it is a life sentence, and I don’t mean the kind with the orange jumpsuits. Perhaps a pantsuit, or a birthday suit, depending on your skills and career path. But a suit we have been prepared for either way, by our parents, professors and peers.

It is a life sentence of which Carolina is but a semicolon – the punctuation that bridges the gap between one wholesome, invigorating, magical experience to another.

So let’s go, let’s do it. Let’s step into life, let’s bridge the gap between what we think we can do and what we actually can do. Let’s say yes, even when we don’t want to, even when we don’t know all the risks, even when we don’t think we have the courage.

Say yes. Go now. Be great.

College, Education, Lifestyle, People, Politics, Relationships, Travel

Southwest Airlines Removes Muslim Passengers, Abandons Basic Patriotism

UC Berkeley student Khairuldeen Makhzoomi was removed from a Southwest flight on Saturday because a passenger complained that he was speaking Arabic. The headlines just won’t quit:

“Arabic-speaking student removed from flight”
“UC Berkeley student kicked off Southwest Airlines”
“Iraqi refugee seeks apology after being removed from Oakland-bound plane”

The list grows as each hour passes.

There are a million ways to say it, but it all comes down to this: one human being expressed ignorance and intolerance toward another, and a major American corporation enabled it.

The company’s current slogan reads, “If it matters to you, it matters to us,” which is a little cringe-worthy, considering its latest behavior.

This is not an isolated incident, nor is it the first for Southwest. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said there were at least six similar instances this year. It’s April. And those are only the reported cases.

Last week, Southwest also removed a Muslim woman from her flight for switching seats. If you have yet to fully understand the concept or impact of white privilege, consider the number of times you’ve switched seats on a plane, a bus or a metro. Were you removed from the flight? Were you uncomfortable in a middle seat, or did you just want to sit closer to your boyfriend?

The ability to speak and move freely while traveling should be an American constitutional right, but for now, it remains a privilege.

After the press jumped on the incident, the company gave a cookie-cutter statement that failed to reflect their attention or care to the matter, “We regret any less than positive experience a customer has onboard our aircraft,” the company said in a statement. “Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind.” A spokeswoman further stated that the company is unable to comment on the conduct of individual employees.

Non-sequitur, much?

Not to mention the employee who responded to the passenger’s complaint spoke Arabic and could have helped both parties come to an understanding, but instead treated Makhzoomi “like an animal.” Unsurprisingly, the employee was unavailable for comment.

Though Southwest’s primary focus is safety for all passengers, they just contributed to the real danger: racial discrimination.

Discrimination anywhere is discrimination everywhere, and for an international airline to participate in and allow intolerance toward one customer on behalf of another paints a rather depressing, daunting picture of Americans and customer service.

How long must racial and ethnic discrimination last until we discover the line between the right and wrong side of history?

How long must we tolerate intolerance?

And yet, the most mature of all parties involved was the victim himself.

“I don’t want money,” Makhzoomi said. “I don’t care about that. The message of Islam is forgiveness. That’s all I want.”

Let’s imagine what the story would be like if the newswire headline had actually been “Muslim Student Refuses Money, Seeks Apology for Discrimination.” How far would the story have gotten? Would you have clicked on the link? Would you have shared it online?

I applaud and admire Makhzoomi for his tactful response; I cannot imagine what I would have done in his place. To him, I say thank you, for expressing compassion in the face of adversity.

To Southwest, I say shame on you. This isn’t an isolated incident. As a leader in air travel, you have the resources to make passengers and employees better educated and equipped for safe travel. As an American corporation, you have much work to do on your brand status, your practices and your mission. Get to work.

If you’re reading this and you identify more with the woman who complained, I say think again! If diversity makes you uncomfortable, reconsider your flight to Oakland.

If you’re reading this and you feel compelled do something about this, I say (a) thank you for reading this far and (b) God bless you, you beautiful, complex, powerful human being! You absolutely can do something!

  1. Share the story on social media! Whether you read the New York Times, Washington Post, or some other outlet, get the word out. It matters.
  2. Call your mom and tell her about it! Different generations get their news from different places; it’s worth mentioning to your parents.
  3. Get involved! Hundreds of organizations exist to battle systematic discrimination. Take five minutes from your day to research how you can join one. Don’t have five minutes? Choose from this list: Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
  4. Ask questions. The best way to offer help to someone is to say “how can I help?” as opposed to guessing at the best practices.
  5. Own up. If you offend someone, it’s not the end of the world. But you do need to apologize. Take ownership by asking how to fix your mistake.
  6. Listen: A dialogue works best when both parties listen to each other. If someone you know or love is speaking out about injustice or intolerance, take the time to hear them, and let them know they are understood. Be human, with humans.
  7. Know that this is bigger than you. This blog post isn’t going to end an era of racial discrimination, but hopefully it will contribute to an intricate discussion that values people and ideas.

There is no quick fix to ending racism, but if we challenge each other to think critically about discrimination, we can be better than we are right now.

College, Education, Feminism, Lifestyle, People, Relationships, Women, Work

Sorry Not Sorry: Why Women Need to Stop Apologizing

Five young women are standing at the front of my class, representing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder running a pseudo-press conference to answer questions about the toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

For ten minutes, they have to answer to the rest of the class, which poses as hostile reporters unabashedly asking questions about the political scandal behind the crisis.

This is Crisis Communication.

The discussion intensifies as we, the reporters, accuse Governor Snyder’s communication team of being in cahoots with his corrupt politics.

I raise my hand to direct a question at one of the representatives who hasn’t yet spoken.

“The toxic water is primarily in neighborhoods of residents in racial minorities. Did Governor Snyder knowingly let conditions get so bad in those neighborhoods because he’s racist?”

She takes a deep breath, during which I whisper “sorry!” from the corner of my mouth.

The class chuckles. We’re all friends here, and we hate making each other take the heat.

She answers my question with poise despite the pressure, and moves on to the last few minutes of the simulation.

Our fearless professor takes the podium at the end of class while we pack up our books and laptops.

“Before you leave today,” she said, “I want to talk about something I heard during class.

From this point on, there are two words that are never welcome in my class again. They are ‘I’m sorry.’ I know you all like each other, and you empathize with those who are up at the podium, but what you don’t need to do is apologize for doing your job. Especially not for doing your job well.”

We are an entirely female class, not just because of the student gender ratio at UNC, not just because Public Relations is an increasingly female major, but because women are more likely to feel the need to take a class on crisis management than men. While more women than men enter the PR industry, it is still men who hold more of the upper-level management positions, and are more likely to be a spokesperson on behalf of an organization during a crisis.

Taking this class is part of how we change that.

Our professor continued, “In the real world, if a man had asked a hard-hitting question, he never would have apologized. He’s not worried about looking mean, or hurting feelings; he’s only concerned with getting the answers for the story. He cares about doing the job well. And so should you.

You are all women who are about to enter the professional world, and you don’t need to be sorry for how smart, and driven, and deliberate you are. Don’t apologize for doing your best. There’s no shame in it.

‘I’m sorry’ only puts you at a disadvantage. You don’t need that.”

The discussion over female apologies gleaned attention earlier in the year when comedian Amy Schumer included a sketch on her TV show, during which an all-female panel spent the entire time apologizing instead of highlighting their professional work. Editorials from Cosmopolitan and Refinery29 challenged women to count the number of times they apologize in a day at work. Gmail even offers a plug-in that prevents you from sending emails with the phrase “I’m sorry.” The point is, this isn’t news. We know we shouldn’t apologize so much.

So how do we stop?

The answer, in my opinion, lies much deeper than eliminating one phrase from our vocabulary.

In order to stop saying sorry, women have to stop being sorry.

It’s a huge change, but it can be done in small steps, provided that we make an active effort.

If you need a place to start, begin by helping others to be confident and self-assured. It’s contagious. The more you diminish others, the more they diminish themselves. The same is true for the reverse.

Apologizing is a symptom of feeling small. At work, at school, online, at home, it’s easy to compare yourself to others, or to put their needs ahead of yours. You’re not alone in this, but you are the only one who can change your disposition.

Be confident, be proud, be self-assured that you don’t need to start every sentence with an apology. Know that your ideas, your preferences, your emotions are uniquely yours, and that is reason enough to assert them without feeling timid.Take ownership of that.

Don’t be sorry. You can’t kick ass at your job and be sorry about it.

You have to choose.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Art, College, Education, Feminism, Lifestyle, News, People, Politics, Relationships, Women

A Guide to Celebrating International Women’s Day

You’ve probably heard that tomorrow, March 8, is International Women’s Day, but have you ever actually celebrated it? How do you celebrate it anyway?

Maybe it’s like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day; it’s surely highlighting a practice we should be observing on a daily basis. Maybe corporate America is going to profit from human tendencies to make up for what we forgot to do all year long. Except it’s not.

Drug stores haven’t preemptively arranged tables of commercialized gifts for the “special woman in your life.” The floral industry isn’t rushing to jack up the prices of rose bouquets. Children aren’t bringing their mothers breakfast in bed. There won’t be any clearance holiday items at the grocery store tomorrow.

No one is capitalizing off International Women’s Day. Not even women.

In 1908, the first International Women’s Day was observed as 15,000 women marched in the streets of New York City, demanding equal pay, better working conditions and voting rights. More than 100 years later, women still don’t have equal pay and recognition in the workplace.

What we do have, as women, is a day dedicated to our achievements, a recognition of our victories, a celebration of our centuries-long struggle to prove something we shouldn’t have to prove: International Women’s Day is observed in 27 countries around the world, and the United States even designates the entire month of March as Women’s History month.

So how are we using it?

The 2016 International Women’s Day campaign is centered on #GenderParity.

Why, you ask?

Despite the fact that women make up more than half of the human population, we still fail to account for a proportionate amount of political, social and economic power across the globe.

In 2014, the World Economic Forum predicted that actual gender equality would not be reached until 2095. A year later, they adjusted their estimation such that this golden year would not arrive until 2133. (a moment of silence, please)

If we can’t move toward equality faster than a glacial pace, let’s hope that some woman somewhere invents a cure for mortality.

If you’d like to see change from somewhere other than beyond the grave, consider taking any of these steps to celebrate the women in your life:

  1. Call your mom, or someone who has been a mother to you. Chances are, you didn’t get to where you are today without the help of at least one woman (ex: your birth).
  2. Vote! Women fought long and hard for the right to vote, so don’t let it go to waste! The more women vote, the better representation we will have in political office. Don’t know when your state’s primary is? Click here to find out!

Side note for any time-travelers who have come back specifically to 2016 to change whatever historical events are about to happen this year: please vote. Now is your time. We’re begging you.

  1. Be a leader! If you don’t like the leaders in your community, become a better one! Take a pledge, join a club, run for office, start a petition. Any leadership role is a step toward equal representation for women.
  2. Go global! Check out all the opportunities on the International Women’s Day website, or visit Now.org to find resources to support women in communities beyond American borders.
  3. Bask in female creativity! Women contribute socially, culturally, artistically, academically and professionally to the content we consume every day – cherish it! Go to an art gallery, read a book, watch a TedTalk, do something to foster appreciation for the work that women do every day.

The point is, there are an infinite number of ways to celebrate. However, the biggest obstacle to celebrating International Women’s Day is awareness. The best thing you can do to celebrate is starting a conversation. You might not know everything about the day, but you sure as hell know at least one woman. Show her some appreciation today! If you’re a woman, show yourself some appreciation! What better reason to treat yourself (all month long!)?

Did I miss something? Let me know how you’re celebrating International Women’s Day in the comments below!

College, Lifestyle, People, Relationships, Study Abroad, Travel


We’ve all experienced the fear of missing out.

Whether we’re watching the snap story of a party we’re too sick to attend, or clicking through the pictures of our ex’s wedding on Facebook, we’re all too familiar with FOMO.

It’s more a manifestation of anxiety than fear, actually. The knowledge that better, more exciting things are happening somewhere that we aren’t. We self-medicate with live-streamed events, corporate conference calls, pre-recorded TV shows because we just can’t do it all.

We develop most of our FOMO through social media, meanwhile making ourselves more isolated from one another. We’re settling for watching concerts online instead of actually seeing it in person. Thanks to Snapchat and thousands of fashion bloggers, it was possible to watch all of New York, Paris and London Spring Fashion Weeks live from the front row.

No, we cannot be in two places at once, and yes, the Internet accommodates our incurable need to feel present, but it’s really not the same.

It’s a vicious cycle, really. The more we miss out, the more we watch online. The more time we spend online, the more we miss out. If we worry about all the things happening in the world right now, we fail to appreciate what is happening in real life in front of us.

I have a very vivid memory of FOMO from this summer while studying abroad. My friends and I took a few days off to run with the bulls at the San Fermin Festival in Spain.

We had just arrived in Barcelona’s bustling airport terminal. I looked up at the screen over the gate, flashing with updates of departures and delayed arrivals. I was overwhelmed. Names of places I had never heard or even imagined I might see. How was it that I could only occupy one small fraction of the world at a time?

We bought train tickets to Pamplona and settled into some empty seats at our terminal. I continued to glance at the closest screen over the next few hours, ignoring the conversation amongst my friends to fantasize about the other places we could have been instead of this cold, dirty train platform.

I thought of other cities, other weekend trips and experiences of people around me, of all the strangers in all these places I’d never get to meet. Stories I’d never tell. My fear of missing our evolved into a deeply rooted need to go and see and touch and hear all the people and places and food I had yet to know and love. I felt like I simply had to have it or else I’d die right there and then.

Until of course, I realized we had missed our train. And then we really were going to die right then and there, at midnight in a cold, dirty Spanish train station, where none of us spoke Spanish and none of us had Wifi.

Except we didn’t die. We rallied.

We made it to our destination and ran with the bulls and experienced a very different emotion than FOMO. It was a blend of Oh-God-Why-Did-I-Do-This and Oh-God-I-Can’t-Wait-To-Do-This-Again.

Whether we call it adrenaline or audacity, none of it would have happened if I hadn’t snapped out of my FOMO-trance.

It is through this experience that I realized how destructive FOMO is, and decided it has no place in my life. I learned how important it is to be present in the experiences I’m currently having, or else I really will have no stories to tell in the end.

You can call me FOMO-phobic, but I’ll be too busy soaking up my last semester of college to care.

College, Lifestyle, People, Relationships

Open Hearts, Open Doors

Yesterday as I was leaving academic advising, I held the door for a middle-aged man who was a few steps behind me.

“You are way too young and pretty to be holding a door for my crusty old ass,” he laughed.

I nervously chuckled back and offered, “everyone ought to hold doors.”

We exchanged smiles and valedictions before turning opposite ways down the sidewalk.

Though his comment brightened my day, it pushed me consider why I do good deeds. Maybe it’s because I was raised in the South, or maybe because I was raised by Mona and John Flynn (hi guys!!!), but I could not, through any excuse, accept what he had said.

Everyone ought to hold doors.

There are definitely times when I choose not to help. I’ll fail to pull through a favor for a friend, pass by a person asking for money on Franklin Street, turn a blind eye to a petitioner in the pit. I’ll admit, it’s impossible to help everyone all the time. But how do we decide when to make the effort?

There are infinite considerations that we weigh subconsciously: Is the task easy? Is it convenient? Does it require my time, my money, my patience? Will it make a difference? These are all limited, valuable facets of my life and health. Do others deserve that from me? Do I want to help? Am I obligated to help?

While I don’t have clear-cut answers to those (I’m only 21, okay?), I am certain of this:

No one is too good to give of themselves. No one is above the basic laws of human kindness. No one is too young or old or pretty or plain or smart or stupid or rich or poor. We all have something to contribute.  We all possess the the unwavering ability to help, to love, to support, to empathize. Giving does not limit our supply of these qualities.

Interacting on a real, human level grows our ability to understand and help and heal each other.

Herman Melville wrote, “truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not merely what it is by contrast.” We’ve all known coldness at some point, when we asked for help and didn’t receive it. Whether we needed money, or attention, or patience, or even just a ride home, there are times at which we felt like no one was in our corner. It is because of these times that we can appreciate the blessing that comes from someone showing up, lending a hand, grabbing the check, holding the door.

When you choose to withhold your help, your love, your support, your empathy, does it say more about the other person, or about you? Can you justify your decision to turn away from others?

We walk by people begging on the street, assuming they’ll use the cash for drugs. We ignore opportunities to volunteer because we know someone else will step up. We fail to show up for friends and family members because we have better things to do, or their problems aren’t our fault.

Whatever the excuse is, it’s probably unsubstantiated. You don’t know why someone might need money, or a listening ear, and you don’t know whether someone else will step up.

So go ahead. Hold the door.

If not now, when? If not you, who?